September 6, 2006. 3:00-4:30pm. Porter Hall 223D, Carnegie Mellon University

Cognitive and Emotional Representations of Terror Attacks: A Cross-cultural Exploration

Presenter: Gulbanu Guvenc, Tel Aviv University

The current study involved (1) developing a questionnaire that measures the cognitive and affective components of terror risk perception, and (2) applying this questionnaire in two countries with terror experience: Turkey and Israel. Participants in the study were Turkish and Israeli university students (n=351). Four independent factors explained terror risk cognitions in each sample: costs (consequences of being victimized by a terror attack), vulnerability (relative chance of being a victim of a terror attack), trust in authorities, and perceived (lack of) control. A single negative emotionality factor explained the affective component of terror risk representations in both samples. Results supported the validity of the questionnaire by showing expected associations between cognitions and emotions, as well as indicating gender differences and cultural variations. Current findings were discussed in relation to previous results, theoretical approaches and practical implications.